Skip to the content

Ransomeware makes comeback in NZ and abroad

There has been an increase of ransomware attacks across the board, according to two recent reports by CERT NZ (Computer Emergency Response Team NZ) and McAfee Labs.

Globally, ransomware attacks increased by 118% in Q1, while incidents in NZ rose by 38% in Q2. Top ransomware families detected included Dharma, GandCrab, Ryuk, and Anatova, which uses a game or application icon to trick users into downloading it.

Ransomware campaigns in NZ have included WannaCry, which exploited Microsoft systems, and GandCrab, which impacted public services. The total direct financial loss from ransomware reported to CERT NZ is just over $127,000, mostly from ransoms being paid.

In the US, there were 22 government ransomware incidents in the first half of this year, including attacks on Albany, New York (April); Baltimore City (May); Florida’s municipal governments (June); and Georgia’s court system and state and capitol police (July).

Baltimore City, which has only just started sending out its first water bills since the attacks in May, is facing $18 million in direct costs and lost revenue. The city is also now considering cyber liability insurance worth $20 million. In Florida, two cities paid out $1 million worth of cryptocurrency to regain data.

The most recent batch of malware started making the rounds in school districts around New York, Washington, New Jersey, Idaho, and Connecticut.

Schools, an easy target for hackers due to their limited IT budget and security resources, are now the second-largest pool of ransomware victims behind local governments, followed by healthcare organisations.

Read more about ransomware and cyberattacks in:

Or see more news in our blog.

By Jo Lo
Jo Lo

About the author

Jo Lo

Jo is a digital producer at Pattern. Jo has a background in communication, and has worked as a producer and editor for organisations such as Les Mills International, Tailor, Auckland Libraries and XtraMSN/Telecom. From 2007-2009, Jo was the web editor for Taste and Metro magazines.